Chiefs and All Blacks centre Richard Kahui’s season looks set to be brought to a premature end after he suffered a serious shoulder injury on Sunday
The 26-year-old was forced off the field with a dislocated shoulder in the first half of his side’s 42-27 defeat to the Reds in Brisbane.
“We’ll get the shoulder scanned tomorrow, but the likelihood is it’s the end of his season from a Super Rugby viewpoint,” said coach Dave Rennie.
“Richard had a big impact in the time he was on the field. I feel for him because he’s a bloody top man, a big part of our leadership group and obviously the All Blacks were pretty keen on him playing there.
“It’s disappointing for him, but knowing him he’ll still have a bit to say about what goes on from here in regard to what we do on the track and helping out the young fellas.”
Rennie added that Jackson Willison is the most likely candidate to step in for Kahui for the remainder of the campaign.
“(Willison’s) been at the Chiefs for three or four years now and played a lot of footy, so it’s a great opportunity,” Rennie said.
“We’ve also got our fullback, Andrew Horrell, who is a 10 or a 12 that’s been playing 15 because we’ve had some injuries back there, but hopefully we get some back so he’s an option to play at 12.
“Sonny (Bill Williams) is quite comfortable playing 12 or 13.”
The Chiefs boss was also keen to play down the significance of the match officials’ failure to hand Reds full-back Luke Morahan a yellow card for a tip tackle on Williams.
Morahan has since been issued an off-field yellow.
“To be honest, he didn’t deserve to be sinbinned,” said Rennie.
“We watched it, thought there was nothing in it and we got a penalty so we were happy. If he had have been binned it could have been a big moment in the game, but it probably wasn’t warranted.”